3D Printed Houses, Homes of the Future?

Hello Nature-Led friends! I hope you are having a good day! I’m currently swimming under what’s called an “atmospheric river” (The warm air around the Hawai’i islands blows into the Pacific Northwest cold mountain air and comes down in heavy rain. (Also called a “Pineapple Express” locally.) Oddly enough, I’m allergic to pineapples, so I’m grateful it only drops heavy rain and not actual pineapples. Can you imagine the damage? We’d have to reinforce everything with steel roofs!

Home Sweet Home Minecraft Edition – I recreated my house in Minecraft

This post was inspired by an article I read about a house that was 3D printed using raw earth See link #1). This sparked my imagination. What if we could build in place with minimal noise and additional resources? It seems to me the walls would be stronger and additives could be added giving it a pliability that could help reduce the stress of earthquakes. I’m always thinking about how new building techniques can create safer housing option. Having the ability to make a house rounded or into more organic shapes could help reduce wind resistance in areas with hurricanes and tornados. It also unlocks a whole new level or architectural possibilities! The thick walls provide a higher R-value for insulation and in conjunction with steel beams or careful internal wall placement can create load bearing structures that could house gardens and other times of greenery on top. Sometimes I build out these ideas using video games like Minecraft and Terraria, but then I’m limited by the game’s environment. There are games and applications like Dream by Media Molecule and Blender (blender.org) an open source #D graphic tool to name two. I recently reinstalled an old program called Bryce. I just haven’t been able to convince myself that investing a lot of time learning/relearning these applications is the best use of my time.

Pros of 3D printed houses:

  • Higher R-value for insulation that reduces heating and cooling costs
  • Opportunity for new building materials that may be more resistant to environmental disasters
  • Opportunity for more organic shapes and architectural elements, including rooftop space for gardens, rain catchment systems, and durable platforms for solar panels, residential wind turbines, or other ecological investments to reducing a home’s carbon footprint.

I’m also supportive of factory-built builds. This is where a large portion of the building is done in a factory-controlled setting then trucked to the pre-prepped site location.

The benefits of factory builds include:

  • Reduction of weather induced delays
  • Safer working conditions for the workers, framing is a dangerous low wage job
  • Reduction of noise and disturbances at build site
  • Reduction of trucks driving raw resources to the build site
  • Reduction of security issues like theft or vandalism

One of the toughest challenges facing new building techniques are strict building codes. Most building codes are created with the intention of make sure that buildings are built in a safe and responsible manner. However, some codes and laws are written in a way as to use language that favors existing builders and building standards from competitive innovative materials and designs. These manipulations of codes and laws are “business as usual” in most countries and extend beyond just the building sector. What if we had a clear pathway to design, innovate, stress test and implement new building structures?

Photo by Bianca on Pexels.com

When we talk about systemic changes for racial justice, we also need to talk about systemic changes for environmental justice. In my mind the two are tightly interwoven. What would the United States have looked like now without the principles of manifest destiny and the colonization dogma of our forefathers? “Business as usual” cannot continue to be the status quo if humanity wants to survive into the next millennia. As I get older I become more resistant to change in some ways. Sometimes the “new way” isn’t really the best way, sometimes its forced upon us so someone else can profit from it. At other times the “new way” is actually a really old way being re-learned by a new group of people.

Working together and respecting where people are in their lives is much more helpful to providing long-term sustainable environments and communities. War is the least sustainable thing any country can do. Every time a missile gets fired to prove combat readiness or military prowess, I think of all the marine life disrupted and destroyed because of it and the people that could have been fed and housed for the cost of creating that missile.

We need opportunities for meaningful work that helps solve problems instead of creating new ones.

So far one of my biggest concerns is the lack of information on how the plumbing and electrical wiring are supposed to be done. They also don’t say much about the after-market opportunities for painting and customizing ones own home. Questions like; Can I still go down to the home improvement store an repaint a room? How do you hang a picture on a wall like that? What if a window breaks? and all the other little things that go into making a house feel like home.

Links:

This is the first house to be 3D printed from raw earth (itsnicethat.com)

3 Steps for Building Carbon Neutral Houses (entrepreneur.com)

Bamboo Architectural Designs that prove why this material is the future of modern, sustainable architecture: Part 2 | Yanko Design

I watched A LOT of YouTube videos on the subject of 3D printed houses. This was one of the videos I liked the most.

What do you think? Could you see yourself living in a 3D printed house?

Fast Company’s: Climate Change Survival Plan

This is not a sponsored post. I’m just genuinely excited about the articles that Fast Company, a magazine & digital media company, has put together on Climate Change. Free! One post in particular really resonated with me to the point where I joked to myself; “Well, I can shut down my blog because someone has written the perfect article about what we can do and how we can do it!”

That would be letting myself off too easily though, wouldn’t it? Many of us need avenues to meet as individuals that help us feel connected and engaged with other people. So I’ll be here, spooling out the best ideas I can find on Nature and Community related subjects.

If you have time, I encourage you to read these articles.

The article I liked the most: https://www.fastcompany.com/90680284/heres-how-to-push-for-action-on-the-climate-crisis

The main landing page to the Fast Company Climate Survival Plan: https://www.fastcompany.com/section/climate-change-survival-plan


My socially awkward dog attempting to engage in polite dog behavior by offering pets.

Dog pets dog By Melanie Reynolds

It’s only Thursday, but I’ going to start early and wish you all a nice weekend!

From “Dream On” to Climate Action

Photo by Maria Tyutina on Pexels.com

When I’m working through something complex I gravitate towards certain songs. I play them over and over as if the cadence can help me weave or unweave the threads of an idea. I find myself in this mode right now. The three songs I currently have on repeat are “Dream On” by Aerosmith, “Indomitable” By DJ Shub and the North Cree Singers, and “You Can Never Go Home” By Ganstagrass.

What’s interesting is that I had to look up who sings “Dream On” because even though I knew it was one of Aerosmith’s earliest hits it doesn’t sound like the Steven Tyler were used to hearing. I looked up the Wikipedia page on the song. It references an authorized biography of the band called Walk This Way By Stephen Davis. In it Steven Tyler describes how he liked to lay under his father’s piano while he father played when he was a small child and something in that experience prompted the first catalyst for the song.

As a child, I too loved to lay under my Grandmother’s baby grand piano while she played! What a funny thing to have in common with a Rockstar! Both Steven Tyler’s father and my Grandmother were classically trained pianists. The final elements of the song came together when he was 14. In the biography he says the song is sung in his “real voice” which he was insecure about on how it sounded on tape. This is also interesting to me. I always try to get under or around “the Public face” that we all tend to wear when we’re out and about in society. Authenticity has always been important to me. I find it easier to bond with people when we’re both being “real” with each other. So now I know why this song appeals to me so much.

The next song I’ve been playing a lot is called “Indomitable” By DJ Shub and the North Cree Singers. This attraction feels natural to me. Growing up some of my very closest friends are Indigenous Americans and our friendship continues to this day. As an Ally, I care deeply about Indigenous issues like the Murder and Missing Indigenous Women whose cases don’t get the same attention as Gabby Petito. Once again mainstream media deserves to be called out for its own systemic habits of “missing white woman syndrome.” If my best friend goes missing you better damn well give her case the attention it deserves! By choosing which stories get the most national attention, the media signals what our collective values are supposed to be. Indigenous people are still here! Many live in cities, not on reservations, and yet the broader collective consciousness of our nation sidelines their voices to historical archetypes or reservation/tribal “issues” as if what happens there doesn’t have relevance to influence the rest of the country, but it does. Who took bold action against the XL Keystone pipeline project? The Standing Rock Sioux tribe! That’s who! This is one of many examples of how environmental and social justice issues are woven together.

Finally, we have the last song I’ve been listening to a lot by a band called “Ganstagrass.” The name and band is a combination of Gangster Rap (urban music) and Bluegrass (rural music.) I really like one of the comments someone named Patrick Riot made, “When the hood and the woods unite, we’re unstoppable.” That’s what I believe too! I’m frustrated and disheartened by the current US political climate and animosity in the public sphere, but I have to believe that we can still bring people of different backgrounds together. Our democracy is at risk and what are we without our democracy? I’m trying to think of a framework for a new path forward that is relevant to people’s lives where they can feel heard and push through the politically divisive rhetoric. Can it be done? I don’t know, but I’m willing to try.

I’m ready for action! I’m now obsessed with the idea of creating a “regenerative society” as a path forward. This prompts the questions: How can we create a “Regenerative society?” and What would a “Regenerative Society” look like?

Call it serendipity or stream of consciousness, but of course I’m not the only one to pull these two words together. My short working definition is – a society that works towards restoring the basic needs of the people and the environment; Food, clean water, shelter, access to healthcare, sanitation, education, and a sense of community.

I feel that a regenerative society would have equality and social justice as intrinsic values built into its DNA. Education for all. Period. Not just the rich, not just the men, not just the people in the cities…etcetera, etcetera,.. everybody! Educated people doing meaningful work on behalf of themselves and their communities. Working with purpose and being valued for your place in the world because of it! By “educated” I mean a society where everyone has a basic primary education (reading, writing, and basic math skills) with opportunities to do advanced academics, trade schools or apprenticeships to find your social-environmental niche. Any society can work towards being a regenerative society. Several countries are already ahead of the U.S. on that. The area where I grew up was poisoned by a government project but we, the people, are expected to pay out of pocket for the health consequences of it until the day we die. More on that in a future post.

I was debating with a friend who argued greed was good because it motivated people to competitively innovate and take risks. My point was, why should greed be the motivator though? I’m motivated to innovate and take risks to make life better for me, my family, my human community, my wildlife community, my plant community, and my soil community. She told me I was being delusional. I told her she was being lazy if greed was her only motivation for existing. We laughed and left it at that.

What would a Regenerative Society look like to you?

Please share your thoughts below or email me.


Here are the songs mentioned via links to YouTube:

Dream On – Aerosmith:

DJ Shub and the Northern Cree Singers – Indomitable:

Ganstagrass – You can Never Go Home:

Additional Links:

Dream On (Aerosmith song) – Wikipedia

Home | MMIW USA (Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Official Website)

FBI missing persons cases list: 43 unsolved cases that need leads (usatoday.com)